MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - More than a thousand people from all different backgrounds and religious gathered at the Temple of Israel in Minneapolis Sunday for a healing service to remember the victims of the mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Eleven people were killed and six others were injured, including four police officers, when a gunman barged into the Tree of Life Congregation during Sabbath services and opened fire. It was one of the deadliest attacks on Jews in U.S. history.
Sunday’s healing service, which was slated to start at 3 p.m., started almost 20 minutes late to accommodate all the people who wanted to show their support for their Jewish brothers and sisters. Approximately 1,500 people stood in solidarity inside the Temple of Israel to grieve the loss of innocent lives.
"It’s an open place for everyone to just come and be together during a really hard time,” Tony Lopez, one of the attendees, said.
As the names of the 11 victims were read aloud, many people were thinking of how their loved ones could have been targeted for their faith.
Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman said listening to those names hit her hard.
"It comes home when you think of those individuals about the lives lost--the legacies lost--before their time,” Zimmerman said.
The healing service brought political dignitaries and interfaith leaders from across the metro. At one point, they lined up and said a prayer together.
"That's what Minnesota is all about—we come together in times of crisis and pain,” said Imam Asad Zaman, the executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.
As people hugged one another and vowed to stamp out hate—families gathered strength to face fear and not let it control their lives.
"We’re not scared,” said Carly Hoffman, another attendee. “We're not scared to pray--no one should be scared to pray and it feels really good to be in my synagogue right now with people from other synagogues."
In the wake of the massacre in Pittsburgh, police departments and sheriff’s offices are increasing security at synagogues across the Twin Cities.